Opening day in Pomona favors Lucas and GEICO Powersports team POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12) -- Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas streaked to a 3.909-second pass at 303.84 mph Thursday in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to earn the No. 7 position...
Opening day in Pomona favors Lucas and GEICO Powersports team
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12) -- Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas streaked to a 3.909-second pass at 303.84 mph Thursday in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to earn the No. 7 position on the Day 1 grid at the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals. Lucas' teammate Shawn Langdon wasn't as fortunate, shaking his tires early and drifting down Pomona Raceway with an 8.330 at 82.90 mph.
"Our gameplan was to go out there and run a safe number to make sure we were comfortably in the field today," Lucas said. "That's basically what we did. Jimmy (Walsh, tuner) said he was aiming in the 3.88-3.90 range and we were right there.
"Now that we have a good baseline tune-up we can get after it tomorrow and Saturday and put this GEICO Powersports car up there with the big boys. We'll also make sure and help Shawn's side of the operation out so we can both run for the trophy on Sunday."
Traditionally, the left lane of the Pomona track has been better but Thursday most of the big numbers were posted on the right side, including Lucas' pass. Langdon and his Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster team attempted their run in the left lane and got into trouble early.
"It dropped a hole (cylinder) right at the hit of the throttle and that threw off the wheel speed," said Langdon, a native of nearby Mira Loma, Calif. "With no wheel speed the tires just started shaking and we were dead in the water. I'm not entirely sure it was an issue of the left lane because we didn't get far enough to make that determination but we'll get our shot at the right side tomorrow so we'll see if that helps.
"The good news is we have two more days of qualifying and we've got full access to Morgan's data. That's the beauty of having a two-car team."
Friday's lone round of qualifying will begin at 1:30 p.m.
"This was a really fun day because our friends from Toyota came out and we got to introduce a bunch of them to drag racing," Lucas said. "Their offices are here in L.A. so they were able to bus a large group over for a visit. It's always fun to show people what we do and what it takes to run these cars."